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Old 10-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
Schmeds OP
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Per capita motorcycle ownership by US state

I was thinking about the impact of the new exhaust bill in CA on H-D, assuming that CA must be a huge chunk of their sales. For all bike types, I find CA has about 9.6% of national registrations (741K of 7.7M).

But per capita, the list is pretty interesting.

I come up with the top ten as:

Montana 0.115
South Dakota 0.072
New Hampshire 0.061
Iowa 0.060
Wyoming 0.056
Wisconsin 0.055
North Dakota 0.048
Minnesota 0.047
Vermont 0.045
Idaho 0.042

Overwhelmingly cold places.

National: 0.025

CA: 0.020 (38th)

Last place: MS: 0.010

Surprisingly, NC and VA are 48 and 49th, at 0.013 and 0.011 .

(registrations; census)
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmeds
Overwhelmingly cold places.
With relatively low populations.

I'm pretty sure that I met about half of Montana's 0.115 at WestFest this year. I don't know why the other four didn't make it.

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Old 10-21-2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Those are interesting numbers indeed. Now correct me if I am wrong, but aren't a majority of these states also mostly flat with straight roads (which might lead to the next interesting question: a breakdown of numbers by brands).
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat
Those are interesting numbers indeed. Now correct me if I am wrong, but aren't a majority of these states also mostly flat with straight roads (which might lead to the next interesting question: a breakdown of numbers by brands).
Only North Dakota. All the rest of the Top 10 have some of the best riding there is to be found.

All of them do have "riding seasons" (snow, ice, cold) with fairly predictable awesome Summer weather that allows good riding.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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I wonder if it also indicates what percent of the riding population legally registers their bikes. Can't remember the source of the numbers, but I recall being surprised at the high percentage of riders involved in accidents who were not legally licensed or registered.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
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When do it per capita you have to remember that a lot of states have cities with more people than any one of those top few states. So that is obviously going to dilute the per capita quite a bit because a lot of urban dwellers have no vehicles at all. And those mostly rural states are going to also have mostly people that own vehicles of some kind. So the per capita thing gets pretty wacky.
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ
Only North Dakota. All the rest of the Top 10 have some of the best riding there is to be found.

All of them do have "riding seasons" (snow, ice, cold) with fairly predictable awesome Summer weather that allows good riding.
That is good to know, thanks!
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #8
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Yep. Im not about to fire up SAS to look at these, but ruralness is probably the best indicator. A ranking of miles of road per capita by state looks very similar. Unsurprisingly, so does cars/person. More road mileage per person looks to translate into more vehicles.

But interestingly, if you look at the ratio of motorcycles to autos, the top of the list is still pretty much the same. Montana's ratio of bikes to cars (0.125) is huge compared to #2 (0.075). That #2 is Colorado, which was 32nd in bikes per capita (but dead last in autos/person, so the ratio is high).
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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I'm guessing that the numbers include atv's and dirt bikes....
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California
I'm guessing that the numbers include atv's and dirt bikes....
This is a possibility as Montana, Idaho and Wyoming let you license them for street use. But you see a 100 bikes for every quad (easy) in the towns so I doubt that it skews the numbers too bad.

(Not sure of the other States)
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California
I'm guessing that the numbers include atv's and dirt bikes....
Farmers, ranchers and especially hunters use atvs like crazy

That is the only possible explanation -- tere's no way that Minnesota hits that list with strictly street legal motorcycles.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #12
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And Snow Machines for MN.??
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:03 PM   #13
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It says "Motorcycles"
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:10 AM   #14
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Maybe it's because people in colder states like to get out and take advantage of summer. On a recent trip to the south, I was surprised by how few MC's I saw.

MN has the highest number of golf courses per capita, if memory serves correctly. Same deal with boats. We're gaga for bikes and bike trails too.
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:07 PM   #15
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only rednecks like motrocycles, I guess.
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